THE POLISH ELECTION RESULTS: TWO CHEERS?
"Poland’s conservative opposition seized back power in a landslide election victory on Sunday night, riding a rightwing resurgence that decimated the country’s liberal left, and heralding a thornier relationship with Brussels and increased state control of the economy. Voters dumped the ruling liberal, centre-right Civic Platform party (PO) out of office despite its handling of the economy which was the fastest growing in the EU during its eight-year term. The election marks a return to power for the veteran nationalist Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s Law and Justice party (PiS) that could pose problems for the country’s European partners. PiS, which blends strongly Catholic social conservatism with populist economics, won 37.6 per cent of the vote, enough to give it a slim majority, the first in the 26-year history of democratic Poland. The staunchly pro-EU PO party took 24.1 per cent of the vote. Results showed a coalition of leftwing parties would fail to gain enough votes to enter parliament. This would mean the first parliament in democratic Poland with no parties from the left, an outcome that underscores the huge surge for more eurosceptic and conservative rightwing parties that have fiercely opposed Poland’s decision to accept refugees and oppose EU consensus on energy and environment policies."Henry Foy, "Kaczynski regains power as conservatives win Polish vote". The Financial Times. 26 October 2015, in www.ft.com.
Kaczynski recently claimed that refugees were bringing “cholera to the Greek islands, dysentery to Vienna, various types of parasites”, in comments that critics said recalled Nazi propaganda. The fact that his words were far from universally condemned was a reminder of how socially conservative many Polish voters remain. The election is “about whether liberal democracy will survive in Poland”, a leading political scientist, Radoslaw Markowski, has warned. “If PiS end up governing alone... Poland will become another Hungary.”Leader, "The Observer view on Europe’s lurch to the right". The Guardian. 24 October 2015, in www.theguardian.com. It is not altogether surprising that the bien-pensant Financial Times and the equally if not more so, bien-pensant Guardian have expressed qualms about the electoral victory, nay triumph of Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s Law and Justice party (PiS). I remember quite well some of the less than impressive antics of Kaczynski’s last time in office. The years of 'the square root or death' and such other diplomatic gambits. With the PIS government achieving the unbelievable feat of having bad relations with both the government in Berlin and the regime in Moskva 1. With that being said, the fact of the matter is that in a Europe which is almost quite literally over-run with migrants, who au fond, represent an updated version of the barbarian invasions of the 4th and 5th centuries anno domini, having a Conservative, Catholic-Christian government who is not beholden to the mindless multi-cultural idiocy of Brussels and now Berlin is something to savor and relish. Which is not to gainsay the fact that any Viktor Orban-like, Pro-Russian antics are one hopes to be avoided. If nothing else, being Polish should prevent the new government in Warsaw from following Budapest's steps in that direction. The fact is that if Mme. Merkel's gravely mistaken line on migrants from the Third World is to be over-thrown, then having a government in Poland who will co-ordinate policies with those in Budapest and Bratislava is an absolute necessity. One may only fear that the change of governments in Warsaw has come too late. So with everything being said, I rate the elections results in Poland as necessitating two, not three but two rounds of 'Hurrah'! 1. Diplomat of the Future, "Why 'Idiocy' has become a Polskii mot and other tales from the Kaczynski twins". June 21, 2007, in www.diplomatofthefuture.blogspot.com